Recent rain not enough to ease Tweed water restrictions

RESIDENTS in the Tweed are being warned the current downpours have not been enough to ease the region’s current water situation and Level 2 water restrictions are still in place.

Tweed Shire Council has confirmed on Friday that Level 3 water restrictions are just weeks away, despite the recent rain.

More than 25mm of rain has fallen in parts of the Tweed catchment over the past five days. However, most places have seen less than that.


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The rain has made no difference to water levels in either the Tweed River or Clarrie Hall Dam.

“Our dam has dropped to 68.8 per cent and is still falling nearly two per cent a week,” Manager Water and Wastewater Anthony Burnham said.

“While the recent rain provided some relief on the coast and for thirsty lawns, it has not eased our current water situation nor slowed the escalation of water restrictions to Level 3 on Monday 3 February.

“History tells us we need at least 150mm to 200mm of steady rain in the catchment over a few days to get any water into the dam.

“To lift water restrictions, we need in the order of 700-900mm over a few months – and the outlook for that remains poor.”

Without significant rain in the catchment, the Tweed will go to Level 3 water restrictions on Monday 3 February and Level 4 restrictions on Friday 28 February.

“The last time Level 4 restrictions were in place in the Tweed was 2002-2003. Then, we received 930mm of rain in the catchment from February 2003 to May 2003 allowing us to lift restrictions. We need that sort of rain again in 2020.”

The Tweed Shire covers an area of 1303 square kilometres. The Clarrie Hall Dam catchment is 60 square kilometres and 25 kilometres from the coast.

“Rainfall patterns are significantly different in the dam and river catchments than on the coast, which receives frequent coastal showers.”

Residential water use equates to 62 per cent of all demand for water from the Tweed town supply.

“While we cannot provide real-time water consumption figures because of the lead time on meter reading, our daily production figures out of Bray Park Water Treatment Plant suggest we are using 184 litres per person per day against a target of 144 litres per person per day under Level 2 restrictions,” he said.

“While this data suggests residents are not heeding the call to save water now, we acknowledge this figure may be inflated due to the recent influx of holiday makers.

“I again urge all residents and businesses to fully support water restrictions now to make our limited water supply last as long as possible.”

Information on what’s ok and what’s not under Level 3 and Level 4 water restrictions is now available on Council’s website at www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/savewaternow

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